Oyster is a global employment platform that builds a bridge between companies and the world’s top talent. Their mission? To create a more equal world of work. We had the opportunity to speak with Matt Machuga, Director of Engineering at Oyster, to discover how Clockwise helps drive that mission forward.
“We’re very much a hybrid of service and technology,” Matt pointed out. “Most industries have this combination, but with hiring, there’s no escaping it. There is a balance we have to strike between what we can optimize away and what needs the human touch.”
Scheduling falls into the category of activities that Oyster employees can optimize away, and they do so with the help of Clockwise. Clockwise is a time orchestration platform that optimizes entire organizations’ schedules by finding the best times to meet and opening up additional Focus Time. According to Matt, it’s worked wonders in relieving the mental load of planning.
“Clockwise simplifies my workday so I can focus on other things rather than trying to meticulously manage my calendar like I used to before.”
<span class="quote-author-name"> - Matt Machuga</span>
Distributed teams thrive with Clockwise
Oyster believes that opportunity shouldn’t be limited by where a person is born. That’s why their goal is to place one million job seekers in remote roles around the world by 2027. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the company itself operates with a fully-distributed workforce. Oyster has 650 employees distributed across 60-plus countries and five continents.
All that to say, no one champions remote work quite like the Oyster team does. Yet, at the same time, they realize it comes with its challenges. Collaborating across time zones is one such challenge. Fortunately, Clockwise is here to help.
“Clockwise creates empathy for people in other timezones,” Matt shared. “For instance, one of the employees I regularly work with lives in Australia. If we need to book a meeting and his time is blocked off for Focus Time or lunch with a friend, I know to leave that alone. For me, I block off time in the morning when I’m drinking coffee, my kids are asleep, and I just want to focus. Clockwise helps us know when we can schedule each other. It's just nice to not have to think about it, and you know you're respecting somebody's boundaries.”
Empowering Oyster employees from day one
Oyster prides itself on being a workplace that elevates and empowers both its employees and customers. For Matt, that very ethos appears in the way he manages other managers, empowering them to make autonomous decisions with their teams.
New Oyster employees start using Clockwise during onboarding, which plays a large part in encouraging and maintaining that autonomy. It also underpins Oyster’s distinction as an empathetic and human-centric workforce. “With your team, you know which hours they're trying to focus, but also which ones you're allowed to punch into.”
“Because it's integrated on day one and because it allows us to back away from meetings and say, ‘This is our time.’ It's communicated throughout the entire business. It's just a very natural fit.”
Fewer meetings, more time for priorities
“We are fairly anti-meeting here,” Matt noted. “But when there has to be a meeting, we prefer to give people their blocks of time to focus. Everyone has Clockwise setup to guard their time.”
In addition to using asynchronous video messages in lieu of meetings, Oyster employees further protect their time with Clockwise’s flexible meetings feature. Clockwise creates more Focus Time in everyone’s schedule by rearranging flexible meetings to open up long blocks of free time, perfect for focused work.
Why is this valuable? 76% of Engineering Managers surveyed said that Focus Time helps their company bring in more revenue and 80% say it helps them finish projects faster. As Matt described Focus Time, “It's effectively a permission for any engineer to ignore messages for three hours to work on their priorities…that's worth a lot.”